Rush Wayne

We are pleased to feature another blog post related to the climate emergency, this time from Rush Wayne, a solution-focused enthusiast from the US, whose introduction to the Solution-Focused Collective came via Facebook. Here he reports and reflects upon an inspiring project in which Facebook played an important part.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” —Anne Frank

Introduction

In early October of 2021, in response to the growing alarm in news reports and social networks about the increasing dangers of climate change, I decided to try a personal experiment in climate change action via social media, an experiment that would be informed by solution-focused (SF) thinking. Although I consider myself something of a recluse and certainly not much of an activist or joiner, I proposed to challenge myself to take at least one action a day relevant to climate change, for an unspecified period of time, and to post my daily actions on Facebook so that others could follow along.

Drawing on SF thinking, I planned that my actions would be directed toward a positive outcome for the climate, more than simply toward “fighting climate change.”  Further, the actions would be small and easily accomplished by me or other individuals reading my posts – in contrast to the conventional thinking that only large and bold moves by governments, corporations, and environmental organizations could ever be commensurate to the scale of the problem. Finally, rather than aspiring to employ some special jiu jitsu of social change, I planned that the actions would comprise “doing more of” the ordinary, familiar kinds of citizen engagement – things like petition signing, donating, posting on social media, making the odd change in one’s “lifestyle” habits, self-educating, etc. – that go on all the time unremarked but that doubtless have kept the climate situation from getting even worse than it is.

In posting the actions, I did not and do not expect readers necessarily to agree with the ones I have taken or their rationales. The larger point of this experiment was to get myself moving about the issue and to see how feasible it would be to stick to an actual commitment for daily action. I had heard of certain personalities within the therapy/personal growth community offering to help people deal with their feelings about climate change, as there seems to be considerable fear and despondency around the subject. But I’ve long thought that taking action itself might be the most effective antidote to those feelings. Still, I had never been much of an activist, and I am uncomfortable with the heavy problem-orientation much activism typically entails. So I sought to invent my own way of moving forward.

Doubtless some might object that one needs a “political analysis” – essentially a diagnosis of the problem – before setting to work on an issue like this. Coming from an SF perspective, however, my expectation was that a detailed understanding of the “cause of the problem” would not be necessary to work for a positive outcome – indeed, it might limit my ability to recognize fruitful directions as I came upon them; and by taking action, I could learn much of what I needed to know about the climate arena as I went along.

As it would make for a very long read to reproduce every post from the 59-day experiment here, I have compiled and/or summarized somewhat more than half of them below. I’ve tried to include only the more illustrative posts, such as those that show the early evolution of the project, or those with significant commentary, or those that show the great diversity of sub-issues within the broader climate issue, or those that introduce a different sort of action from what had been previously posted. As many of the actions were time sensitive, I generally haven’t reproduced here the actual links to the actions included in the original FB posts.

Following the posts, I shall end with a number of reflections on my project.


The posts

Day 1 (October 2, 2021):

For my first post in the series, I simply wrote “Signed. My small-but-significant action for today to support a stable climate…”

For this action, I signed an online letter from Cascadia Wildlands, an environmental group active in Oregon and Washington in the US, to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to stop unwarranted post-fire logging of mature, green trees in the back country areas of Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park.

Day 2:

For my second post, I wrote, “Signed and sent. My small-but-significant action for today to support a stable climate.” and followed that with  “Uncontacted tribes are the best guardians of the natural world: by transferring their lands back to them, you will save their lives as well as their forest.” This brief comment referred to an email written by Survival International to relevant officials of the government of Paraguay to protect and support the land claims of the Ayoreo, an uncontacted tribe in Paraguayan territory, in consideration of the role of uncontacted tribes as prime guardians of the natural world where they live.

Day 3:

Signed a petition from Earthjustice.org (a top US environmental legal action organization) to the Biden administration to reject subsidies for new uranium mining in the US, as these would directly support destruction of fragile habitats and take away funds from urgent climate priorities.

Day 4:

Changed my introductory wording slightly to say “My small-but-potentially-significant action to help stabilize the climate for today.”  Signed and sent a letter from Rainforest Action Network to the executive officers of Chase Bank urging them to stop the financing of fossil fuel projects with their concomitant climate destruction, human rights violations, and rainforest destruction.

Day 5:

This was my first day reporting more than one action. Again, I changed my introductory wording, now to describe them as “small-but-potentially significant actions toward a sustainable climate.” On this day, I made a recurring donation to Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles to support Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War, a US national grassroots campaign to prevent the growing threat that nuclear weapons pose to our future. I wrote, “A nuclear exchange of any sort would be game-over for the climate, and the US military is currently the largest institutional source of climate emissions on the planet.”

I also made one-time donation to SumOfUs.org to help send Tibetan ex-pat Dr. Lobsang Yangtso and her climate/environment team to Glasgow for COP26, to draw attention to the climate crisis on the Tibetan plateau, where glaciers supplying freshwater to millions are rapidly shrinking.

Next, still on Day 5, I signed a petition to the US Sec’y of the Interior to End Subsidies for States’ War on Wolves via Center for Biological Diversity (“wolves provide a number of crucial “ecosystem services” that promote healthy wildlands”).

Finally, I wrote, “Tried to repair my leaking toilet myself following instructions found on YouTube, potentially saving carbon emissions from a plumbers visit! Also potentially saving money, which I could use at my discretion.”

Day 6:

Signed petition via WorldBeyondWar.org in support of the Sinjajevina community’s campaign (Montenegro) to save their traditional pastoral way of life and reject the takeover of their land for a military training ground. I wrote: “Well managed grasslands fix carbon in the soil whereas military organizations are major contributors to climate emissions and take money away from climate solutions.”

Day 8:

Signed a petition from Food & Water Watch (fwwatch.org) to halt drilling on federal lands and waters, especially offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere; another one from OregonWild.org to tell the Oregon Legislature to use our Oregon forests to help fight climate change; and one from NIRS.org to Biden and my Senator Wyden, arguing that nuclear power is not a climate solution and a nuclear-industry bailout had no place in the American Jobs Act or the Clean Energy for America Act.

Day 9:

I wrote: “Day 9 of my climate commitment. Today I set out to adjust the inflation pressure of the tires on my car, to help get better gas mileage. Usually I do this with a tire inflator/air compressor that plugs in to the cigarette lighter of the car. Today, however, after a first attempt to connect the inflator plug, the plug cap pulled off in the cigarette lighter and I was unable to remove it. Lovely! So the inflator is now unusable. That left me with the fall-back option of pumping the tires by hand with my bicycle pump, which is the way I used to do it when I was ten years younger. Today this proved to be a seriously strenuous, one-step-forward-two-steps-back kind of job, such that I only managed to get one tire up to pressure before i decided to stop for the day and try again tomorrow with the remaining tires!”

Day 10:

I wrote: “Today I finished raising the inflation pressure on the remaining 3 tires on my car (using my bicycle pump). That work went fairly quickly after yesterday’s challenges.

I also decided, however, to look into a fundamental question about climate action:  if global climate behaves as a “complex system” or even a “chaotic system,”how can we be sure that our actions toward a sustainable climate are indeed going to have the effect we’re hoping for? Is it possible that our actions could have the opposite effect to what we intend, given that climate is not a straightforward mechanical system? Which of the solutions, if any, promoted by the many disparate individuals, groups, corporations, and political constituencies, are already working?   And which, if any, are already making things worse, given that scientists’ climate projections have apparently underestimated the speed of the deleterious changes?”

I wrote “I will leave that thought there for the moment…” and as this was Indigenous Peoples’ Day, I shared a post from SurvivalInternational.org illustrating one way that the conventional wisdom on climate action, in their opinion, is currently getting seriously off track, with major conservation organizations actively fomenting the removal of indigenous populations from their land in the name of fighting climate change. I also linked to five suggested actions Survival had up on their website at that time, all based on the belief that indigenous peoples and uncontacted tribes are essential stewards of the planet’s most biodiverse areas.

Day 11:

I wrote: “Today I signed two petitions from WinWithoutWar.org. The first was to Congress to stop the Biden administration from further arming Saudia Arabia in its war on Yemen (which arming at the very least is a waste of tax-payer dollars that could be brought to bear on the climate crisis).

The second petition was to “remind the Biden administration of the widespread public support to end nuclear weapons use and remove these deadly devices from the world” before completion of the so-called Nuclear Posture Review where the administration is assessing and evaluating U.S. nuclear weapons policy. Building new and “better” nuclear weapons would, in my opinion, be another colossal waste of funds that could be otherwise brought to bear on the climate crisis, not to mention a source of considerable climate emissions and a direct danger to global climate in case of an accidental or intentional nuclear exchange.”

Day 12:

I wrote: “Today I downloaded and have begun to read the report from the Transnational Institute, via WorldBeyondWar.org, on the dangers of militarizing climate security. It appears to raise a number of important issues including alternative ways of thinking that may prove crucial in moving towards a sustainable climate.

https://worldbeyondwar.org/transnational-institute…/…

Day 13:

“Today I’m continuing to read the report I cited yesterday on the dangers of militarizing climate security. I also have signed and want to share a call from Rainforest Action Network to Procter and Gamble urging them to listen to indigenous communities voices and work harder to reduce their complicity with rainforest destruction & human rights abuses in North Sumatra. #KeepForestsStanding!”]

Day 14:

“Today, we are getting some great sun, so I am cooking a Delicata squash in my solar oven out in our back yard, rather than using our table-top portable electric oven. The solar oven is a “Sport” (see https://www.solarovens.org/) which I bought maybe 10 years ago. Using the solar oven will not actually spare much in emissions for us, since we already receive power from our electric company’s “green power” program (mainly electricity from solar and wind), but hey it is fun and the squash tastes especially good when cooked this way. Do any of you have a solar oven?

Meanwhile, I’ve also signed a petition or two today. One was from Food and Water Action urging the Oregon Department of Agriculture and its Department of Environmental Quality to strengthen water pollution regulations on factory farms in Oregon. The second was a local action via Cascadia Wildlands urging the Bureau of Land Management to drop their wrong-headed project to clearcut in the Thurston Hills overlooking neighboring Springfield (which project has already been rejected twice in court), and build community hiking trails instead.”

Day 15:

“Today (and the last few days) I’m trying to improve our household performance in the area of preventing food waste, by checking on what’s in the fridge and decluttering there so food we’ve prepared or purchased will be less likely to be forgotten and tossed. Food production is a big source of climate emissions, and 70% of freshwater is used to grow food. Yet, I read that 40% of food that is produced (in rich countries, at least) is wasted. This while hunger is a world wide problem, one that will likely be exacerbated by climate change. (On the other hand, I’ve read that 3% of the US military budget could eradicate world hunger…) Anyway, reducing our own food waste seems like a no-brainer if it helps the climate and saves us money at the same time.”

Day 16:

“Today I sent instructions to my yard crew to let the season’s falling leaves stay where they fall on the bare ground in our yard – rather than clearing the leaves with their blowers – so the leaves can help build the soil and protect it from washing away in the rain. This should mean the yard crew will use their gasoline-fueled blowers less, reducing emissions. It should ultimately also help hold carbon and water in the soil. It might even help provide some nesting sites for ground-dwelling bees.”

Day 17:

“Today I signed a petition from OSPIRG [Oregon State Public Interest Research Group] to the EPA [federal Environmental Protection Agency] urging them to beef up their plans to regulate toxic PFAS chemicals, which have apparently spread widely into our food, water, and natural environment. I figure that toxics like that are likely to harm wildlife and biodiversity, and among humans to lead to increased need for medical services, harming climate sustainability in the process.

Day 18:

“Today I will just share and comment a bit on an article in Positive News on the winners of the Earthshot Prize, which were chosen to offer scalable solutions to deforestation, pollution and other environmental challenges. I like what Costa Rica has done in doubling the size of its forests while engaging indigenous groups, although I suspect that eco-tourism is far from an unalloyed social good. The Takachar technology to reduce burning of agricultural waste in India sounds like it would bring a welcome change, but as with any technology, its rollout could have unexpected social and climatological effects (for one, aerosols from agricultural burning likely cool the atmosphere in India right now, so widespread implementation of this technology could result in higher temperatures there, even while reducing overall carbon emissions and improving air quality.)The coral project sounds good, although it does not deal with larger context of climate change that is killing coral. The Milan food waste system sounds great, and I’d like to see that replicated in my town! (What do the locals say about it?) The AEM Electrolyser, another technological fix, could also have unexpected ramifications, such as giving destructive industries a way to greenwash their activities, but at least it would provide a source of fossil-fuel-free hydrogen.”

https://www.positive.news/…/five-ideas-to-save-the…/…

Day  19:

“Today I did some reading about the role of peatlands in climate stabilization, learning that although peatlands cover only about 3% of the world’s land area, they store more carbon than all of the world’s forests, including the Amazon. As a result, the increasing loss and degradation of peatlands around the world poses a significant climate threat.

I also signed a letter to the US Forest Service…to deny a right-of-way to the Uinta Basin Railway to route oil trains through a roadless area in the Ashley National Forest in Utah. “More than 400 streams would be damaged. Ten thousand acres of wildlife habitat would be stripped bare or paved over, including crucial areas pronghorns and mule deer need to survive.” via the Center for Biological Diversity.”

Day 25:

“Today I joined with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in calling on Scotland’s NatWest Group – a corporate sponsor of the #COP26 climate summit – to walk its talk and drop its investments in nuclear weapons.”

Day 26:

“Today I have signed the call from a long list of organizations, to the participants in the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference…to stop excluding military pollution from climate agreements.”

Day 30:

“Today I joined Divest Oregon in calling on the State of Oregon (via the Oregon Treasurer and the Oregon Investment Council) to shift treasury funds from fossil fuels to climate-safe investments.”

Day 32:

“In the last few days I have been reading about the crucial role that whales play in sequestering atmospheric carbon. Yes, whales! They capture carbon both by incorporating it into their own body mass (sequestering an average of 33 tons of carbon dioxide each over their lifetime) and by fertilizing phytoplankton, which themselves capture world wide an estimated 40% of all carbon dioxide produced. There’s a fascinating article on the subject of whales and climate here:                                      

From the article: “If whales were allowed to return to their pre-whaling number of 4 to 5 million—from slightly more than 1.3 million today—it could add significantly to the amount of phytoplankton in the oceans and to the carbon they capture each year. At a minimum, even a 1 percent increase in phytoplankton productivity thanks to whale activity would capture hundreds of millions of tons of additional CO2 a year, equivalent to the sudden appearance of 2 billion mature trees. Imagine the impact over the average lifespan of a whale, more than 60 years.” And “Enhancing protection of whales from human-made dangers would deliver benefits to ourselves, the planet, and of course, the whales themselves. This “earth-tech” approach to carbon sequestration also avoids the risk of unanticipated harm from suggested untested high-tech fixes. Nature has had millions of years to perfect her whale-based carbon sink technology. All we need to do is let the whales live.”

With these ideas in mind, I have been watching for online actions I might take to “save the whales” and other ocean wildlife. Here’s one petition I signed, from the Ocean Conservancy, addressing the problem of ocean noise, which harms ocean animals that rely on sound to survive…”

Day 33:

“Today I supported the Alexandre Family Farm with my purchase of 1/2 gallon grass-fed whole milk at our local employee-owned grocery.  “Alexandre Family Farm has become the Regenerative Organic Alliance’s first and only Regenerative Organic Certified™ dairy farm in the United States. The Alexandre Family Farm is also the first dairy to obtain Ecological Outcome Verification certification by the Savory Institute. These certifications acknowledge that the farm’s practices go far beyond sustainability to continuously improve soil biology as well as the entire ecosystem – water, land, air and animals.””

Day 34:

“Today I signed a petition from Freedom United raising awareness (before the COP26 Climate Day of Action) of forced labor in the clean energy supply chain, especially in the Uyghur region of China, and pointing out the destructive mutually-accelerating connections between modern slavery and climate change.

[Quoting Freedom United:] “The 4 largest solar panel suppliers in the world all source their polysilicon from the Uyghur Region. We cannot achieve environmental sustainability at the cost of human rights.”

Also, [I wrote], there is this provocative article. From the article: “Abolishing slavery is shown to be one of the most effective instruments for climate change mitigation, especially given that the costs of ending slavery seem on par to about $20 billion, or the expense of a single large nuclear power plant.””

Day 37:

“Today, following up on my post on Day 34 touching on the place of modern slavery in exacerbating climate change, I signed two petitions from two more campaigns coming from FreedomUnited.org, one calling on chocolate companies to “address the gaps in protection and the underlying drivers of child slavery and child labor in the cocoa sector;” the other calling on the EU to end its complicity in allowing modern slavery to continue in Libya (via funding of the Libyan Coast Guard)…I also registered for the “People’s Summit for Climate Justice” to be able to attend certain online presentations.  And I made a recurring contribution to WorldBeyondWar.org.

Day 39:

“Today I attended three more sessions of the People’s Summit for Climate Justice; the first showed in detail how some companies are using tree-planting, biomass carbon capture, and (in the US) pellet fuel manufacture to greenwash deforestation, land expropriation, and environmental injustice. The second offered some “resilient responses” to the climate crisis (but I came in about half way through the session, so I’ll have to find the recording later); and the third of these was comprised of strengths-based interviews of activists in the UK working to halt new fossil fuel projects across the country. This last one, entitled “People vs. Fossil Fuels: How we win,” was especially inspiring. Sadly, however, it was not recorded.”

Day 42:

“Today, I spent a large part of my day engaged with ideas about how people change, via online webinar/discussions hosted by 1) the International Focusing Institute, and 2) the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association.

I also made a recurring contribution to Survival International (survivalinternational.org) and I signed the petition…from Oceana.org calling for specific actions from the US and Canadian governments to protect North Atlantic right whales.”

Day 43:

“Today, I again spent a large part of my day online with the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Association, further engaged with ideas about how people change.

I also signed a message via Public Citizen (citizen.org) to senior leadership at top multinational insurance companies to urge them to commit not to insure the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.”

Day 44:

“Today I signed a petition from SumOfUs.org to the French financial giant BNP Paribas, calling on them to stop funding deforestation caused by the soy industry, especially in Brazil. “Every year in Brazil, an area 115 times the size of Manhattan is wiped out to make room for soy farms.””

Day 46:

“Today, continuing on the theme of war as a climate disruptor, I signed a petition from Just Foreign Policy to five key US Senators, any one of whom could force a vote on US support for the Saudi bombing and blockade of Yemen, including a $650 million sale of missiles that can help the Saudis maintain their air blockade of Yemen’s airport. [Quoting Just Foreign Policy:] “Leading international humanitarian organizations say that the airport blockade has killed 32,000 Yemenis who couldn’t fly out to receive medical care, and it also causes an “almost complete halt to commercial cargo such as medicine, medical supplies and equipment coming into the country.” Over 100 members of the House and Senate have called on the Biden administration to use their leverage to force an end to the Saudi blockade and war. The administration has refused to use that leverage. This weapons sale amounts to a green light for the war.””

Day 50:

“Today I watched three talks by holistic management action-leader Allan Savory on YouTube:  “Allan Savory Speaks at the COP26 Peoples Summit – 2021 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu1ZxG-jnCU),

 #1Climate – Allan Savory at Polyface Farm – 2014 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPOF9ijyhvM) and Allan  Savory: Hope for Reversing Desertification and Climate Change – What You Can Do

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58Fu1_3EBVU).

Savory argues that problem-focused decision-making (which is the only form of management that governments use) will always make complex “wicked” problems like climate change worse, and only a comprehensive shift to holistic decision-making, focused on a “holistic context” (essentially an agreed-upon preferred future) can turn around our worsening global systems.

(The second and third videos were the clearest exposition of Savory’s ideas for me.)”

Day 51 and 52:

“I’m falling behind on reporting of my daily climate actions, yet still doing them. So, yesterday and today, following the theme of climate as a complex system, and considering self-education as a form of action, I have been watching full length YouTube videos of talks by Prof. Dave Snowden, more-or-less on the topic of complex adaptive systems.  Here’s one particularly mind-boggling talk out of many talks posted: https://youtu.be/nt9TvHWSf34

Days 53 and 54:

“Tuesday – continued my exploration of complex systems, watching more YouTube videos on the topic highlighting the ideas of Dave Snowden and Chris Corrigan.

Wednesday – made a recurring donation to the Savory Institute (https://savory.global) for their work in holistic management and regenerative agriculture; signed a petition via Friends of the Earth to Prime Minister Davis of the Bahamas to  stop Disney Cruise Line development plans for Lighthouse Point, a fragile coral reef ecosystem, and signed a StopLine3.org letter to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Governor Walz to drop the charges against Water Protectors who have attempted to halt Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline.”

Days 57, 58, and 59 (November 27, 28, and 29, 2021):

“These last days, I have continued delving into Dave Snowden’s ideas on sense-making for action in complexity, but I’ve decided to take a pause on my climate commitment and reflect a bit on what I’ve learned from it.”

Reflections

Ultimately, I demonstrated to my own satisfaction that it is quite feasible to make and keep a commitment such as this to take small actions on a regular basis for a limited period of time. Generally, there was no shortage of actions I could take online, although I may have benefitted from the outpouring of online activism from environmental organizations in the run-up to COP26.

In my final post, I wrote: “While I posted many of the actions that I took, there were often additional actions I took but didn’t report. All in all, I estimate that I took roughly 150 actions, all quite small in the general scheme of things. In looking for small actions I wanted to take, I also learned a fair amount about the issues involved. I came to believe that some of the things “experts” recommend to fight climate change are not likely solutions at all, such as technology-based “carbon capture” or setting aside vast tracts of land in the global south for “protection,” while some of the more obvious measures (to me) such as scaling back war and militarism, are curiously absent from the recommendations of top climate experts and activists alike.”

Where I perhaps slowed a bit in the last 10 days, on the one hand I began to have trouble with the time management necessary to write up my actions for posting (I am a slow writer) while juggling the competing demands of my domestic life; and on the other hand, I was having a dawning recognition that something needed revision in my approach to selecting actions. This recognition became more insistent as I pondered the issue of complexity in the climate space.

I continued in my last post of the series (the following quote has been lightly edited), “I ran into a fundamental conundrum we all face in trying to take action on climate, which is that there is no way to get useful, rapid feedback on what effect any of our actions is actually having on the state of the climate. Yet feedback is essential in taking action within a complex system, as every action has unintended consequences. Even with the large actions of governments, we can barely get feedback within the sort of time frames that would allow us to correct course if we are making things worse rather than better, and the feedback we *do* get in the form of actual climatic changes rarely tells us what specifically is working and what isn’t.”

“This all means we are thrown back on following the so-called experts – when experts have a terrible record as managers of complex systems – or worse, following ideological leaders and just doing whatever they say is right. The only way out of this conundrum, so far as I can see, is to treat climate sustainability not as a goal one can fight for, but as an emergent property of healthy human- and natural systems, and fight for those instead.”

For me, this left me looking to support positions and projects that could verifiably improve quality of life for people and nature in specific contexts and specific locations, taking it on faith that if any actions can help stabilize the climate, such context-specific improvements in aggregate are among the most likely to do so.

This all came as something of an epiphany for me, which felt like the culmination of the experiment that started with simply wanting to act rather than be cowed by the enormity of the climate crisis. Ironically, it brought a shift in my thinking such that it now makes less sense to further pursue my original commitment as presented, one that approaches climate change as an issue separate from the more general effort to improve conditions of life on earth. Still, I am not turning my back entirely on climate-as-an-issue; I can see that that framework still has its value. And it clearly still makes perfect sense to use this kind of small-action-commitment-toward-an-outcome as a vehicle to increase engagement toward social change.

Such engagement need not be confined to individuals such as myself posting on social media; it could just as well serve as a useful focus for an action group, whose members all want to see change in the climate arena. Members could individually set their level and duration of commitment as well as their choice of actions, so that they could do what works for them, at their own pace, following their own beliefs and values. But by joining together as a group, whether online or offline, members could share what actions they take and get ideas for action from other members; and they could support each other in continuing their commitments. Beyond that, I have to say I like the math around doing this en masse. If individuals each averaged 2-3 actions a day, a group of eight could log about 20 actions a day, or about 1,200 actions from a two-month commitment like mine.

Of course, this kind of small action commitment, whether taken up individually or in groups, would likely adapt readily to other issues besides climate, especially in arenas where there are a good number of organizations already engaged.

How else might this sort of experiment be optimized?  I do think it would be valuable for anyone undertaking this kind of project to decide how long they want their commitment to continue, and set a time frame which could be revised later as needed: two weeks, one month, six months, a year?  When I began this experiment, I did not set a duration for my commitment, perhaps creating the impression that I was planning to continue until the climate crisis resolved. Since I stopped my posting of actions at 59 days, it could leave the impression that I had “given up” on my commitment, especially when coupled with a slowing of my posting activity in the final ten days or so of the project. In reality, while I was still geared for action, I was having some trouble keeping up with the “selecting, writing, and posting” end of things, so that at some point in my second month of posting, I began thinking in terms of a target of roughly sixty days of posted actions. I never stated that target explicitly, yet had I actually done so at the time, or had I committed myself from the beginning of the experiment to post for 60 days, there would be little reason to question whether my ultimate completion of some 150 actions in 59 days represented a significant accomplishment if not an unqualified success.

Thinking from an SF perspective, others undertaking this kind of commitment might decide to put more attention from the start into describing a desired outcome for their actions, crafting a more elaborate preferred future description than my “sustainable climate.” But now looking back, I think that the way I set about wading into the middle of things with only the loose outcome of a sustainable climate, gave me a certain flexibility to figure out in real time what kind of actions most spoke to me. And that in turn helped me to clarify what kind of future I most value. It remains to be seen how others might navigate the challenges of a similar framework for solution-focused action.

Rush Wayne is a Solution-Focus enthusiast and retired inventor who has been been turning his inventing skills and knowledge of SF towards new forms of activism for social change. Rush lives in Oregon, USA.

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